The first Monday of the month, Quora deposits money earned from views on my content into a PayPal account. A little bit here, little bit there, I never gave it much thought. Truth is, I wouldn’t have a PayPal account but for Quora insistence on opening one to receive deposits. Not much of a online shopper, credit cards secure occasional purchases. PayPal mystifies this middle aged ponderer.
After work today it dawned on me – in 22 days, 11 hours we’d board a plane for Havana. I needed new dresses. Where to begin? Amazon, eBay? Search by retailer, brand, style? Argh, I loathe online shopping! Pop-ups, flash sales, discounts offered with acceptance of mailing list bombardment. Hour after hour of futile nonsense wore me down. Frayed, disgruntled, on the verge of calling bullshit – I found a acceptable dress. Add it to my cart? Seriously? Okay fine, I’ll play along. Watch me push a virtual cart to check-out! Payment options? What’s this, complete the transaction with PayPal?
Throwing caution to the wind I clicked PayPal. Snap, order on the way! Holy crap, I just bought a dress with virtual money handed to me for posting questions. WTF? Sweet! Can I play again? Yep, seems so – twenty minutes later, repeat performance, another dress on the way. What fun! Steady now, take a deep breath, time to act responsibly.
Salvadorian migrant Oscar Ramirez wanted a better life for wife Tania and baby daughter Valeria. Oscar sold his motorcycle, borrowed money from family, travelled over 1,000 miles to the international bridge at Matamoros, Mexico. The bridge was closed, aid workers told them to return the next day. They woke to a line hundreds long. Gazing across the Rio Grande, Brownsville, Texas trumpeted the American dream. Their dream to seek asylum in the “greatest” nation on Earth, their dream to work hard, buy a house, raise their family without fear.
El Salvador, the deadliest place on Earth not in a war zone, boasts a murder rate of 81.2 per 100,000 citizens. For perspective – U.S. murder rate is 5.2 per 100,000, Canada – 1.8 per 100,000. Why is El Salvador so dangerous? Ponder the link below –
Oscar Ramirez wasn’t a drug dealer, gang member or criminal, all he wanted was a safe place to work hard, buy a home, protect his family. We’ll never know what went through Oscar Ramirez’s mind as he waded into the Rio Grande clutching baby Valeria, witnesses say he made it across, sat Valeria on the riverbank and went back for his wife. Little Valeria tried to follow, was swept away and both perished when Oscar tried to save her. Images of Oscar and Valeria face down in murky water, her tiny arm wrapped around his neck went viral, Homeland Security refused comment, Trump heaped blame on Democrats.
“If we had the right laws that the Democrats are not letting us have, those people, they wouldn’t be coming up, they wouldn’t be trying” – Trump said.
“Those people”? Pardon me Mr. Trump, have you forgotten the Declaration of Independence? Thomas Jefferson? How about “all men are created equal”? Let me help you, “those people” have inalienable rights, how dare you blame Democrats for your insanity. Your daddy would be so proud, bet you learned all about “those people” on his knee. Hey Mr. President, see these dead people?
Care to comment with a shred of humanity for victims of your asinine immigration tantrum? Oscar and Valeria whose only crime was hope, optimism and the American dream?
Never mind, it’s not your fault. You’re the greatest president in history, nothing else matters. You warned us, it’s the fault of bleeding heart liberals for not paying attention. Build a wall you said, insulate America from “those people”, let them languish in poverty and fear. The migrant crisis was completely avoidable, why didn’t we listen? Left wing nincompoops ruined everything, Democrats should be apologizing to you for their lack of vision. But for uppity Democrats all of America would play golf in MAGA hats, “those people” would understand “great” nations are reserved for great people. WTF?!!!!
Plenty. Last month, Kay Ivey, Governor of Alabama, signed a bill into law giving a specific church the right to have their very own police force. The church is Briarwood Presbyterian Church, one that has a history of racism and bigotry. The law, in summary …
Relating to law enforcement; to amend Section 16-22-1, Code of Alabama 1975, to authorize the president or chief executive officer of Madison Academy and Briarwood Presbyterian Church and its integrated auxiliary Briarwood Christian School to appoint and employ one or more suitable persons to act as police officers to protect the property of the school or academy.
Did these people ever hear of the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution? I know it’s Alabama, and they are just nuts enough to like a doofus like Roy Moore, but still … last I looked, Alabama was still one of the 50 states comprising the…
Never let it be said Donald Trump disappoints his congregation. Last Tuesday Trump nation gathered in Orlando, Florida to hear their pernicious saviour announce his 2020 re-election campaign. Captivated by magnitude of tRump greatness, the faithful unleashed boisterous cheers every time their swami snarled “Hillary”, chanting “Lock her up” with back slapping enthusiasm. In the words of Charles P Pierce, Esquire Magazine –
“By one count, he mentioned her seven times in 30 minutes, including doing a pathetic imitation of HRC during one of their debates, while barely giving Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders a couple of drive-bys. The rest of the speech consisted of one more of the president*’s endless attempts to keep his Velveeta-brained gobshites on fire for him. “-https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a28099381/donald-trump-2020-campaign-rally-florida-hillary-clinton/
MAGA attire peppered the crowd of extremists, conspiracy theorists, puffed up red necks, Christian fundamentalists and self proclaimed patriots. Outside, the Proud Boys (see link below) sent megaphone postcards –
“When you come out here, it’s a brotherhood. It’s a family. It’s like being at a revival, man,” Joe Biggs, a Florida-based Proud Boys member, could be heard telling another right-wing activist about the Trump rally.
A short time later, journalists filmed the Proud Boys in much larger numbers as they marched through the streets, chanting, “Pinochet did nothing wrong!” The slogan, popular among white supremacists, is a reference to former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s practice of murdering leftists by throwing them out of helicopters.” – Christopher Matias, HuffPost US
“A vote for any Democrat in 2020 is a vote for the rise of radical socialism and the destruction of the American dream,” he said, ripping “radical” and “unhinged” Democrats even as he made only passing mention of any of the men and women running to replace him.”
Last night a client asked for water, no ice. Seems she disapproved of Pellegrino served at the bar. No problem, I’ll be right back. Oh, you want to come with me? Have it your way. Following me to the kitchen, she watched as I turned the faucet to run cold water. Her jaw went slack, unable to support quivering lips on a face now drained of colour. Horrified, she mustered “you only have tap water?”. “Excuse me” I replied, handing her a glass of water, no ice. “I can’t drink that” she sputtered, “I need bottled water”. Propriety screamed “easy now, be cool, you’re a professional”. Rather than snap “are you thirsty or not?”, politest admonishment ahead of “what’s wrong with you”, I smiled, shrugged and replied “there’s bottled juice at the bar”.
Water, no ice lady’s delusion isn’t unique. Convenience, accessibility, marketing and collective apathy sustain bottled water dependency. Why no ice, because it’s made from tap water?
Society resides in a plastic bubble. Insulated from common sense by convenience, consumers take the path of least resistance. Bolstered by marketed delusions, society dwells on plastic bottles and deems the contents crystal clear. Water, no ice lady doesn’t know 93% of all bottled water contains micro-plastics. Nor is she aware of Canadian law as it pertains to drinking water.
Canadian tap water is regulated by Health Canada which sets guidelines for potentially harmful contamination. Municipal water sources are tested constantly to assure quality. Bottled water is another matter – legally defined as “food”, it falls under jurisdiction of the Food and Drugs Act. Translation – “Aside from arsenic, lead and coliform bacteria, the act does not set limits on specific contaminants but says simply that food products cannot contain “poisonous or harmful substances” and must be prepared in sanitary conditions.” Bottom line, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspects water bottling plants – on average once every 3 years. Bottled water producers claim strict adherence to testing practices, legally they’re not obliged to make results public.
With the exception of “spring” or “mineral” water printed on labels, water producers aren’t required to reveal their water source. The Canadian Bottled Water Association claims less than 8% of water bottles in Canada contain municipal water sources. In the United States roughly 45% flows straight from the tap.
“In the U.S., Nestlé’s Poland Spring water, which is not sold in Canada, was the subject of a class-action lawsuit that alleged the company was mislabelling the water as “naturally purified” spring water from “pristine and protected sources… deep in the woods of Maine,” when it fact it was groundwater being drawn from man-made wells, some of which, the lawsuit alleged, were at risk of contamination.” – Kazi Stastna, CBC News
Water, no ice lady is a cautionary tale. Bottled water is unregulated, unethical, unhealthy and undeniably unscrupulous.
In plastic bottle news – earlier this week Justin Trudeau held a press conference to announce a nation wide ban on single use plastics by 2020. All good until a reporter asked what Trudeau’s family did to reduce plastics. Ponder his cringe worthy response –
It was late September, 2007 when chance ushered us to a movie theatre playing Across the Universe. We knew nothing about the movie, had no idea who director Julie Taymor was, let alone watched trailers or checked reviews. Void of external interference, untainted by collective jibber-jabber or prickling with tabloid expectation – we entered blank slates, emerged transformed. Walking to the car in silence, unabashed grins said it all. From that day forward Across the Universe served as a silent barometer – get it you’re in my tribe, miss the point I have serious doubts.
Despite Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band being one of the first albums I owned, I wouldn’t say I was a Beatles super-fan. What Across the Universe did was use Beatles music to transcend time and place, delivering social commentary as relevant today as it was in 1967.
A few days ago a still of the movie Yesterday appeared on my news feed. Starring Himesh Patel as a floundering British singer-songwriter who wakes from a freak bus accident to find himself in a alternate universe where The Beatles never existed. Patel’s character Jack seizes the opportunity to perform Beatles songs to a world that’s never heard them. Directed by Danny Boyle ( Slumdog Millionaire ), Jack finds fame and risks losing everything he loves. Sounds pretty lame, right? Not so fast.
Across the Universe proved Beatle’s music more powerful than quaint skips down memory lane. Those who didn’t get Across the Universe likely described it as a frivolous love story. Here’s hoping Boyle’s Yesterday delivers an equally surprising gift. Scheduled for general release on June 28, 2019 we’ll have to wait and see if Boyle delivers. Until then I’ll avoid media contamination. No reviews, hype, praise, condemnation or analysis of Yesterday shall touch me until seeing it for myself. Stay tuned…..